May 2017, Vol. 2

Unsubscribing to inactive employees' fingerprint information

by April Mabry

Q: Is the district required to remove access to an inactive employee’s information in the fingerprint clearinghouse?

A: When a district checks the criminal history of an applicant or employee through the Fingerprint-based Applicant Clearinghouse of Texas (FACT), it subscribes to that individual’s information. This allows the district access to the individual’s record and to receive electronic updates if the criminal history record changes (i.e., if the employee is arrested or charged with a crime).
 
When the arrest of a person the district is subscribed to is reported to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), an e-mail notification of an update is sent to the district. The district must sign into the FACT Website and review the notice. Prior to viewing the undated criminal history record information, the district must verify the person is still an employee and the district is still authorized to receive the update. The district can proceed to review or unsubscribe from the record.
 
The district also has the option to go to the FACT Website and unsubscribe from an individual’s criminal history whenever a person leaves. This ensures updates for that individual are no longer sent. An individual will remain on the district’s FACT list of employees but will be inactive. If the person returns to the district, the record can be re-activated. This feature is intended to assist with managing the background check requirements of seasonal employees.
 
Districts should set up procedures to ensure unsubscribing is done whenever an employee departs. This step is included on the Sample Employee Separation Checklist in the HR Library (myTASB login required).
 
The district also should ensure access rights for any authorized user who no longer is employed or needs to access FACT is terminated. This, along with unsubscribing from individuals’ information, will ensure compliance with DPS’ strict rules regarding access to fingerprint-based criminal history information.
 
Additional information about subscribing and unsubscribing to FACT should be directed to the DPS Fingerprinting Unit at 512-424-2365 or by e-mail: fingerprint.services@txdps.state.tx.us.